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In this paper; we propose a new cooperative communication protocol, which achieves higher bandwidth efficiency while guaranteeing the same diversity order as that of the conventional cooperative schemes. The proposed scheme considers relay selection via the available partial channel state information (CSI) at the source and the relays. In particular, we discuss the multi-node decode-and-forward cooperative scenarios, where arbitrary N relays are available. The source determines when it needs to cooperate with one relay only, and which relay to cooperate with in case of cooperation, i.e., "When to cooperate?" and "Whom to cooperate with?". An optimal relay is the one which has the maximum instantaneous scaled harmonic mean functionof its source-relay and relay-destination channel gains. For the symmetric scenario, we derive an approximate expression of the bandwidth efficiency and obtain an upper bound on the symbol error rate (SER) performance. We show that full diversity is guaranteed and that a significant increase of the bandwidth efficiency is achieved. Moreover, we present the tradeoff between the achievable bandwidth efficiency and the corresponding SER. Finally, the obtained analytical results are verified through computer simulations.
Date of Publication: July 2008